Fool's Fate by Robin Hobb

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Book Information  
AuthorRobin Hobb
TitleFool's Fate
SeriesTawny Man, The
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Mandy 
(Jun 09, 2013)

\'Fool\'s Fate\'is the breath taking finale to what I feel is the most magnificent fantasy series ever written. It is a work which contains complex and fascinating magical concepts with a depth of character and emotion rarely explored in fantasy fiction.
For those that have read the entire series, this book is incredibly important as it carries the great task of completing this tale for us devoted readers who have shared so much with these characters and have most likely invested much of our own heart with them.
So the question is, does it manage that mammoth task to it\'s true potential? As heart breaking as it is I believe it does.
Undoubtably, we all want the Fool and Fitz to live happily ever after together, and it seems incredibly cruel that they don\'t, but it is in the end a true finish.
We know Fitz and he is a flawed character. He carries shame easily, and the idea of accepting his love for a man is incredibly unlikely, as much as the reader wants it. His returning to Molly is what he has always thought he wanted. We know that it is the Fool who he truely belongs with, that completes him, and in many ways he knows it too, but it is also something he could not accept. For him it can only be a very deep friendship.
We know that Fitz is a man who devotes himself completely to one individual at a time: Molly, Nighteyes, the Fool and he recognises this when he states that a horse cannot have 2 saddles. This is the crux of it. Fitz can never allow himself to embrace the \'limitless\' love of the Fool, and he can\'t expect another, Molly, to accept this love of another. The Fool knew this and so had to let him go.
I found this ending incredibly heart breaking and yearned for it to be different. But in the end, I think that Mrs Hobb has done the truest thing for the characters we know and love.
I do believe though, when the Fool left his message \'I have never been a wise man\' that he was letting Fitz know that he would return some day to see him.
I hope so anyway.
Thankyou Mrs Hobb for a magnificent experience.

Submitted by Joe 
(Apr 24, 2010)

Robin Hobb's third work is undoubtably one of pure genius. In truth I very nearly did not pick up the Tawny Man trilogy after finishing the Farseer books. I had felt that the ending of that trilogy was so unsatisfactory that it rather poisoned my opinion of all that had come before. However, I did choose to read the continuation trilogy and I'm very glad I did. In this work, Hobb brought to life the characters that I had read about previously, but not really felt. The Farseer trilogy was a well told story, however it didn't give the emotional depth to the characters as seen in the TMT. The bittersweet part of that is the incredible loss I experienced at the ignominous death of the Fool. Along with that, Burrich's death had a profound effect on me. There are a few things that are often misunderstood, and they tend to lead people to unfavorable views of the book, I will endeavor to correct them. Fitz did not simply discount Burrich's death. It is made clear that he greives for days. He then deals with it in a cathardic way. However, the reason it was so unsatisfactory the way Fitz responded is because you are not giving enough import to the most pivotal moment of both trilogies. At the time of Burrich's death, half of Fitz still lies dormant in the dragon. It is because he had previously obliterated his griefs that he did not feel this quite as much as he may have. The second point is that the ending, far from not fitting, was in truth the only acceptable end. Once again because of the situation with the dragon. Fitz had not only abandoned his pain, but, as many can tell you, pain and love oft are so intertwined you cannot discern between them. He had put a large part of his love for Molly in Girl-on-a-dragon. When he gained all of himself back it was like a Great Expectations moment. He learned then that he had, in truth, had the only thing that mattered, and there was a chance to save it. Fitz and Molly couldn't have made peace apart, because this story, in its heart, is in no small part a love story. Indeed, that is one of the few links that remain between the Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies. Fitz was only complete with Molly. The only way it could have been acceptable for them not to end up together would be his death. Otherwise, he would never be fulfilled. On top of that, Jinna had long ago shown that end. She told him that his true love always came back to him, although sometimes he'd had to wait. He had been unable to see her several times throughout his childhood, then he had thought her in love with someone else, then dead (or worse, forged), yet she had always come back. It only made sense for her to return to him after this absence. Extended though it may have been. Fitz had, for nearly the entirety of both series, been devoted to finding her. It was his drive, and it gave the series a depth that was more moving than any fantasy book could generally hope to be. For Fitz and Molly to simply part ways would have cheapened that experience immensely. In short, this book was an incredible masterwork. Hobb did a beautiful job of letting the story take shape, and, above all it was an incredible story of love prevailing, one that many other authors could take note of. My hat's off to Hobb for this book, and indeed both the Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies.

Submitted by Ash 
(Mar 09, 2009)

Spoiler Alert!

Being an avid reader such as I am, I had never expected The Farseer Trilogy and The Tawny Man to compare to many of the other novels I've read, never mind engage me more than any of them. After having read them, I feel now as much a part of that world as I do the real world, and I prefer the former! The talent Robin Hobb possesses is unquestionably brilliant and I would recommend her work in a heartbeat.

Fool's Fate, for the most part, is a work of genius. My only reservation about it is the ending, but we'll get to that later. As the novel progresses, you fall even deeper into that world, it drags you in and you become addicted, much like the Skill river! I personally felt, that although parts of the book are quite slow, it is the beauty of the detail that makes it so incredible. Perhaps it is even the detail building up that allows you to find a deeper level of emotion in the more memorable parts. I, for one, felt the death of the Fool almost as keenly as FitzChivalry himself. And when he was brought back, I knew that joy not just as a happiness when a book takes a turn you wanted it to, but as personally as if I had known and loved the Fool myself. That is the power of Robin Hobb's writing, and it isn't to be underestimated.

So although this book touched me deeply and has given me a strange type of wisdom, the ending just didn't fit, not for me at least. I can see why many people were happy to have Fitz and Molly find each other again, but it grated on me. He had come too far from the boy who loved her, that sixteen years apart had changed him in many ways and it didn't seem plausible that they could come back from that. I would have liked for them to find peace with each other, but as people who had settled their past but knew they had come too long a way from who they had been.

As for the Fool and Fitz, I could see how that was going to turn out, and I hated it. I felt the author had made a grievous mistake in how she ended their relationship after having been through so much together. I had hoped, though I knew different, that if they had to part they would at least have a resolution, not Fitz missing the Fool's trip to Buckkeep by a week or so. Naturally I would have much preferred that they didn't part at all. This is the main reason I didn't give the novel a higher rating.

Another reason the rating suffered was the way that Fitz was not written true to his character. He seemed to only care about Burrich's death in how he felt it would affect him and Molly. Not only that, but the sheer passivity and lack of emotion he felt in knowing he had missed the Fool's trip to Buckkeep and would never see him again, was horrifying. It seems to me that after a story of this length has started to be written, it takes on a life of it's own, and the author doesn't so much devise it anymore as the story tells itself through the author's hands, and this felt like a sort of betrayal of that story, a betrayal of the character we've come to know as well as we know ourselves. I can only hope that she'll fix it with another book, though I doubt it.

Despite the ending, it's still a wonderful and beautiful story that I would recommend to anyone, fantasy lover or not. It's more a story of real people living their lives, in a world not so different from ours, than the magic and surrealism of it. It carries wisdom in it's words that everyone should have.

In that last dance of chances
I shall partner you no more.
I shall watch another turn you
As you move across the floor.

In that last dance of chances
When I bid your life good-bye
I will hope she treats you kindly.
I will hope you learn to fly.

In that last dance of chances
When I know you'll not be mine
I will let you go with longing
And the hope that you'll be fine.

In that last dance of chances
We shall know each other's minds.
We shall part with our regrets
When the tie no longer binds.

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